Hypertension services offered in Alexandria and Lansdowne, VA

Hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure, is widespread and can harm your health. Hypertension is usually easily treated — provided you realize you have it. The board-certified team at CN Internal Medicine in Alexandria and Lansdowne, Virginia, offers routine primary care services, including blood pressure checks at every visit. And if you’ve already been diagnosed with hypertension, they’ll create a plan to optimize your treatment and prevent the long-term health consequences of elevated blood pressure. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

Hypertension Q&A

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is high blood pressure. Blood pressure refers to the force at which blood pushes against artery walls as it moves through your body. Elevated blood pressure happens when the force is consistently too high. Blood pressure readings are fractionated — one number over another. The top number (systolic pressure) measures arterial wall pressure when the heart beats. The bottom number (diastolic pressure) indicates your blood pressure between heartbeats. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or less. Hypertension includes blood pressures of 130-140/80-90.

How does hypertension affect my health?

If left untreated, hypertension can lead to:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Heart failure
  • Aneurysm
  • Kidney damage
  • Vision loss

The longer hypertension remains uncontrolled, the more extensive the damage to arteries and organs.

What causes hypertension?

Risk factors for hypertension include:

  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Excess weight
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco and vaping
  • High salt consumption
  • Kidney disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Poor nutrition
  • Excess alcohol intake

Stress can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Negative habits you adopt to deal with stress, like snacking on salty or sugary foods, smoking, and consuming excess alcohol, can lead to hypertension.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Unfortunately, even excessively high blood pressure levels usually occur without symptoms. Some people develop severe headaches, shortness of breath, and nosebleed once their blood pressure reaches life-threatening levels (180/120 or higher). Periodic blood pressure checks are the best way to determine your blood pressure levels. You can expect a blood pressure check at CN Internal Medicine every time you come in for an appointment. If you’re at risk or currently being treated for hypertension, your provider might also recommend home blood pressure checks. Low-cost digital cuffs are available for purchase at most pharmacies. Your local pharmacy might offer free blood pressure checks if cost is a concern. Or your CN Internal Medicine team can help identify community resources.

How do you treat hypertension?

At CN Internal Medicine, hypertension treatment is based on an evaluation that includes lab tests and other diagnostic studies to identify underlying conditions contributing to high blood pressure. Your treatment can include medication, nutritional counseling, and routine exercise. Blood pressure medication and its side effects vary considerably, and it could take trial and error to find the correct type and dose for your needs. Schedule an evaluation at CN Internal Medicine today for outstanding primary care, including hypertension management. Call the office or book an appointment online.